END OF YEAR UPDATE

SEASONS GREETINGS TO ALL OUR SUPPORTERS

Thank you to all our supporters for all your hard work during 2020, objecting twice to MSDC’s proposals to allocate the fields for housing in their Site Allocations Development Plan Document.

2021 could bring a major decision on the fate of the fields with the conclusion of this Site Selection process.

There’s not much progress to report following the latest round of consultation. According to their website, MSDC are still “reading and logging the responses received during the consultation”. 

Thanks again to everyone who responded.  Hopefully local people have made their voice loud and clear.

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT –

Legal representation at the hearings – a call for donations?

For the first time in SOFLAG’s history, we may need to appeal to you for financial support.

The Independent Planning Inspector will be considering MSDC’s Development Plan at hearings in the new year.

This could be our final shot at protecting the fields from development.

If sites SA12/13 (the name given to the fields in the MSDC Document) are allocated, building is scheduled to start in 2022….

MSDC and all the developers will be heavily represented by barristers to defend their interests. It’s a sad fact that for us to have any effective presence at the hearings, we too will need to engage a specialist planning barrister.  In previous such hearings, we’ve seen that the Inspector simply takes more notice of the words of officials and their barristers.  They speak the same language.

In such uncertain times, we realise it’s not the best time to be asking for money, but one thing that we’ve all learned is how important nature and open spaces are to the wellbeing of our population.  Space, clean air, nature habitats…all these things are set to be lost if this development goes ahead.  If you are in a position to donate, now really is the time…. Think about how your quality of life will be affected if this development were to go ahead… the traffic, the loss of open natural space, the drop in property value, Burgess Hill eating up further swathes of the Hassocks countryside…

If you think you might be able to help, now is the time so please do let us know.

Please email info@soflag.co.uk and tell us how much you might be able to contribute to a legal fighting fund. It doesn’t matter how small the amount. This will enable us to build a fundraising plan. If you’d rather chat to one of us about this, leave your phone number and we’ll give you a call.

This does not mean you are committing yourselves to anything, it’s just to give us an estimate. We won’t keep a record of who offered what, and we’ll ask again if and when we decide we are able to go ahead.

We know the development is crazy. The Town Council know it’s crazy.   So we must make sure our voice is heard by the inspector.  We’re sure, if the evidence is presented in the correct way, they will also see this development is totally inappropriate.

We are currently looking into the best and most secure way to collect and hold donations. We’ll be in touch in the new year when we know more…but in the meantime please email us if you would like to contribute.

A taste of what’s to come?

Anyone wondering what will happen if we don’t stop the development got a sneak preview a couple of weeks ago when the A273 between Hassocks and Burgess Hill was blocked by a fallen tree .

During the morning rush, hundreds of extra cars drove north up Ockley Lane / Keymer Road into Burgess Hill, and by 8.30 the traffic was stationary as far south as Broadlands and the Folders Lane roundabout and Hoadleys Corner were gridlock.

This is what it will be like every day once 500 houses at Clayton Mills with one access point on Ockley Lane are built and Keymer Tiles / Kingsway are finished, plus the 350 that we’re fighting against…

Posted in Uncategorised.